My choreographic work is in constant dialogue with the generative practices (teaching, producing, training) that make up my artistic identity. They all support my efforts to create performances that use clear movement choices to share something both honest and personal
Framed by simple dramaturgical choices, I design improvisation structures that create a space for endless exploration and active physical problem-solving. From my feet to my eyes, I am in constant partnership with the space in which I perform, seeking to both become a part of, and transform it as I go. 

Songs Stuck In My Body 

[one-woman show]

“Songs Stuck in My Body” is a dance-theater solo that takes the audience on a romp through the residue of childhood. The autobiographical piece unfolds through a series of scenes, each pairing an improvisation task with nostalgic artifacts from girl scout songs to beanie babies. At once comedic and deeply personal, the piece asks “What do we do with memories that no longer fit?”

Currently touring as a 45-min show
 

Performer: Sarah Chien

Director/Collaborator: Lauren Hlubny 

Visit show site for detailed performance history.

 

therside collective

[international improvisation collective]

An itinerant improvisation collective whose members come from around the world. We convene annually for a 16-day residency and performance period. We each bring our own practices to expand the common language of the David Zambrano's Passing Through practice. 2018 brought us to Bratislava, Slovakia and 2019 brings us to  Thessaloniki and Stavros, Greece for research, teaching and performances.

Currently scheduling residencies. performances, and teaching internationally
 

Performed at: T3 (Bratislava 2018), Studio 12 (Bratislava 2018), Studio 29A (Thessaloniki 2019)

Members 2018-2019: Sarah Chien (USA), Vicky Angelidou (GR), Francesca Caselli (IT), Sarah Chien (USA), Susanna Grob (CH), Paul Guenot (UK), Valentina Azzati (AR), Ingvild Bertelsen (NO), Michal Freriks (SK)

 

Tethered, Part 1

Supported solo exploring how structural limitations can at once liberate us and constrict us. Sometimes we shed structures in hopes of finding freedom, only to realize that they were holding us up.

This was the first product of my research into the “supported solo" concept. I am researching ways that our bodies can literally support each other even while we perform what makes us most unique. How can collaboration support individuality? 

Performers: Sarah Chien, Jhor van der Horst

Research Collaborator: Ethan Meigs

Performed at: The Brick Theater (July 2017)

Trading Stillness 

[ongoing collaboration]

Performers: Sarah Chien, Kirin McElwain

Performed at: Riverside Park (DanceSafari), Audubon House at Governors Island, Triskelion Arts

"Trading Stillness" is a framework for constantly changing our roles in performance. Sound is created from movement, so  listening, waiting, letting the other speak are the same choice in both mediums. Every element-- from dancer to bow hairs to the space itself-- is invited to speak and be still, to propose, to listen, to move and to create sound. Rejecting the structure of accompaniment in favor of a meeting of equals, we construct a language of both sound and gesture.

Performers: Sarah Chien, Emily Faulkner

Performed at: University Settlement as part of Perfomance Mix Festival 32 (2018)

In Solo for Two, Sarah Chien and Emily Faulkner come together to create the ideal conditions for solo improvisation. Each performer is able to ask for what they need in the moment, drawing from an onstage toolbox of sound, music and time controlled by their partner. 

The work examines how we can actively support eachother even while we perform what makes us most unique. It celebrates the soloist, and the craft of composing improvisational dance.

Solo for Two

Songs Stuck In My Body 

[one-woman show]

“Songs Stuck in My Body” is a dance-theater solo that takes the audience on a romp through the residue of childhood. The autobiographical piece unfolds through a series of scenes, each pairing an improvisation task with nostalgic artifacts from girl scout songs to beanie babies. At once comedic and deeply personal, the piece asks “What do we do with memories that no longer fit?”

Currently touring as a 45-min show
 

Performer: Sarah Chien

Director/Collaborator: Lauren Hlubny 

Performed at:
Triskelion Art | Never Before Never Again Festival (2019 Headlining artist), Collaborations in Dance Festival (2018 in progress), WaxWorks (2018 excerpt, in progress)

Hover

Improvised solo in which a performer searches for moments of suspension discovered only through heightened awareness.

A live journey, a physical search. What is revealed in the space between two opposite forces?

Performer: Sarah Chien

Performed at: 

Actors Fund Theatre, Brooklyn (June 2016)  

Lalita Devi, Spain (September 2016) 

Arts on Site, New York City (November 2016)

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